April 22, 2021

Durbin Votes for the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today released the following statement after the Senate passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, introduced by Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).  This legislation will improve the Justice Department’s response to the appalling rise in hate incidents targeting the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and provide state and local law enforcement with guidance and tools to track and address hate crimes and hate incidents.

“Our friends in the AAPI community are facing an imminent threat with the appalling rise in hate incidents.  Today, the Senate took action to help protect them by passing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act.  But there is more the federal government can, and should, do.  I hope today’s action will create bipartisan momentum to further address the broad threats of hate crimes and domestic terrorism.”

Between March 2020 and February 2021, the Stop AAPI Hate Initiative documented nearly 3,800 hate incidents targeting AAPI Americans.  And a recent analysis by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism found that while hate crimes in 16 of America’s largest cities decreased overall by seven percent in 2020, those targeting Asian Americans increased by nearly 150 percent.

-30-